Did you know that on average we are called out over 220 times per year to treat animals who need our help outside our normal opening hours? These animals may be unwell, injured, giving birth, or suffering and needing euthanasia.
We are proud to be able to provide this service locally, as the alternative would be for these pets to be referred to a 24-hour clinic near Perth, over 90 minutes drive away. If your pet has been hit by a car, bitten by a snake, or otherwise critically unwell, this may be too far.
Several years ago, the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Western Australia removed the need for vet clinics to provide their own after-hours service. This has resulted in more and more clinics not providing an on-call service, which means that those clinics continuing to provide this level of care are getting busier and busier.
We have found over the last few years that the number of calls we are receiving has increased dramatically, and this is putting a lot of strain on our vets. The vets who cover the after-hours work are still working full days, so the work they do after hours is additional to their normal hours. And if they have a busy night they still need to head in to work the following day.
To ensure we can continue providing this service into the future, we are asking that you consider the following points when considering calling a vet after hours:
- If you have an emergency, call us. We are always happy to see your pet in an emergency.
- Is it urgent, or can it wait until the clinic reopens? If it is urgent, please don’t hesitate to call. That is what we’re here for. However, if it’s not urgent (we’ve had people call for advice on flea control, because their dog has been losing weight for several months, wanting their dog vaccinated on Christmas day, etc) and it can wait until we reopen, please wait until we reopen. Remember you can book appointments with our vets online by heading to our website.
- Please call your regular vet first. They will have your pet’s medical history so are the best starting point for after-hours care.
- Call us early if needed. We would rather see your pet at 8pm than at 3am. Remember, we’ve worked a full day and need to sleep.
- We don’t stay at the clinic when we’re on call. Please call ahead before you head to the clinic so we can meet you there.
- It will cost more for an after-hours consult. This reflects the cost of having a vet available 24/7. The consult fee will need to be paid at the time of the consultation as we’ve had too many people not pay as promised. The vet can let you know the cost over the phone. We do have ZipPay if needed.
- We can’t do house calls after hours. This is for the safety of our staff. You will need to bring the pet in to the clinic.
- If you’re rude or abusive on the phone, we will not see your pet. We have all been abused on the phone at various times, and it is not at all tolerated. The safety and welfare of our staff is our top priority, so if they don’t feel they can safely see your pet they will recommend you attend a dedicated after-hours facility near Perth.
- If we can’t answer straight away, please leave a detailed message including your name, the problem, and your phone number. We may be in surgery or dealing with another patient, so we can’t answer the phone straight away every time. Due to the diversion system we use we can’t see your phone number on our display, so we do need you to leave your number on the message. Please say your number slowly so we can write it down.
Our after-hours service is something we are incredibly proud to offer, and we want to ensure we can continue to offer it long into the future. Please know that you can always call us if your pet needs urgent help, but also understand that this is a very hard and expensive service to maintain. Please help us to continue the service by using it appropriately and only when needed.